The world’s first powerful production diesel outboard has hit the water. Dag Pike takes the Oxe 200hp for a test drive
Weighing up the costs
The Oxe looks to be a big lump on the transom, certainly bigger that a comparable petrol version, and its black colour makes it appear larger although a new design of engine hood is being promised which may reduce the visual impact.
This diesel engine is heavier than its petrol rivals, weighing in at 295kg dry and 320kg wet. This compares with 270kg (dry) for Honda’s 200hp 4-stroke petrol outboard.
The Oxe certainly wins when it comes to fuel consumption with the dashboard screen showing a burn rate of 43lph with the throttle wide open. A typical petrol outboard would be using around 70lph at the same speed.
So the big selling points of this diesel outboard are its reduced fuel consumption and the use of a fuel that is much more readily available at marine outlets than petrol and may be cheaper too, if your boat qualifies for the 60:40 fuel tax rating.
Initially Proteum is targeting commercial operators where the high engine hours and greater potential fuel savings will offset the higher initial cost of the engine. The military is also very interested because its ships no longer carry petrol on board.
The Oxe diesel outboard is being offered at £30,000 plus VAT, which is around double the price of an equivalent petrol outboard.
You would have to burn a lot of fuel to make up that difference. The initial interest in the leisure sector may come from superyacht tenders where fuel compatibility with the mother ship is more of an issue than pricing.
First published in the December 2015 edition of Motor Boat & Yachting